Thursday, July 31, 2014

Here's a little happiness list................

Enough already with the meme letting goes. I wanted to claim the good things, the fun things, the things that brought a smile to my face when I recall them so about 3 weeks ago I started a happiness list. Some of these are little blasts from the past that make me giggle, some a big old guffaw moments and some are insane moments in time that I never will forgot. Now these are not to be confused with momentous things that I have had happen in my life that have given me happiness those are on a whole other list.

Starting when I was very young.....

I loved to "snuffle" my cat, still do. Put my face into their soft fur and wriggle my head just slightly and listen to the reciprocal purr. Not all cats are snufflers!!!!

Climbing trees as high as I could and pondering how cool would it be to stay that tall.

Eating watermelon right off the vine while it's still warm from the sun. Same with a beautiful ripe tomato.

Fishing and whispering with my Daddy Jack (grandfather).

Going to the ranch and getting to "play" with the farm animals and helping my Aunt Sallo and Uncle Alfonso with chores which sometimes taught me more that I had bargained for. Learning to make jams, empanadas and tortillas.

Hiding under the house in a crawlspace and thinking I had found the best hidey hole in the world.

Catching toads and keeping them in the backyard. They were everywhere. I love the way their skin feels.

Living close to the director of the zoo and getting to feed and handle baby animals that came to his house before going into the zoo. My favorites were a baby his bathtub and a baby lion who was so little but very strong.

Learning to drive and getting the car turned backwards in the driveway by doing a K turn and watching the expression on my friends face.

Singing in the talent show in 8th grade and dressing up as an old lady. The song I sang was "Too Young to Go Steady". The adults thought it was funny, my peers just didn't get it. Too bad, I had a blast.

Putting my sorority sisters in a cage at the zoo as a prank.

Finding money I hid in a cigar box when we first moved into this house in 1961, last year. I had written a note to some random boy and there were other silly preteen mementos in the box as well.

This is an abbreviated list because I didn't want you to have to live through all my rantings but these are representative of my early happys.

Making you smile with me as I think of happy instead of anything else. It's the best. xoxo Oma Linda

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Forgiveness came just in the nick of time..................

Well once again it has been a long time since I posted.

I have been on a mentally healthy vacay from my normal life. It has been a hard journey, and I'm not finished yet, clearing away the flotsam of the past which is blocking the sailing on to the new one.

Looking back is something I have done all my life. I thought it was healthy to look back and then move on. What I didn't know was that I was looking back, hitching up the junk and hauling it on towards a future that I couldn't possibly fit all this crap into. I obviously was moving on with more than I would ever be able to carry and be healthy.

For those who have read my blog in past years, you know that my Mom and I didn't exactly have a golden relationship. She was of a generation that didn't dare spare the rod and spoil a child. This beautiful woman who I thought had all of her "stuff" together and who talked a good game of being independent and self assured was in fact a flawed human like the rest of us. I spent most of my life being afraid of her anger, terrified I would disappoint her and saying I'm sorry. Now don't get me wrong, I know was sent to my Mom's life to teach her patience, loyalty, loving kindness and to show her that not all children fit into a mold. I must have been a million nights of no sleep for her. I do know that to my face I was a huge disappointment to her and yet she bragged about who I was to so many people. She just didn't know how to say she cared.

I guess you can say that the Ms. Karma served me up for a woman who wouldn't (couldn't) communicate, reach out in a tender way, had a narrow sense of humor and wanted perfection not only in herself but in everyone else around her, most especially her children. Poor woman, never did understand my loud, boisterous, sometimes off color humor and lust for living. She also didn't see a child who needed so much more hugging and loving than she was able to give. The worst part is that she pitted her children against each other for attention. So that has left us estranged from each other all our lives. On her death bed she made my sister and I (my brother had already passed away) promise to not lose track of each other. But of course with years of hurt, we did.

Now I'm not saying any of this but for one reason and that is to clarify not the why of my guilt or my behaviors but rather to say that it is what it truth.

So when the doctors prescribed the exact same course of drugs for my breathing difficulties as my Mom had had because of her COPD, I literally lost my shit. Of course the prednisone fueled that fire and I ended up as close to Nutsville as I ever want to be again. But instead of staying there and keep revisiting the scene of my crime, I got help and have dug my head out long enough to say that I need to forgive my Mom for being less than I always wished she had been. And to begin to try to piece together my own unhealthiness with no blame or hurt. I am the cause of my own unhappiness. And yes it has always been my choice to move forward sans crapola but I didn't know that really, until now.

It is an amazing feeling to be able to look at pictures of my Mom and see what other people probably always saw, a woman with a beautiful face and soft green eyes. And I have written in my journal, many tender moments that I wouldn't allow myself, when I was in such a painful place, to bring back from the vaults of my childhood. The times when she was just exactly who I needed, a Mom.

This has also given me a chance to look at my behavior as a Mom and see the good and the bad and move on. I'm very fortunate that forgiveness of myself and others came just in the nick of time. I still have today to work on being who I have always wanted to be.......just me. And every day I get to do that is the biggest blessing I will ever receive.

There are no do overs, there are no should have beens, there are no authentic joyous life moments when you are weighted down with the hurt and pains of yesterday. So eventually you have to let it go...................hopefully before you have no todays in which to do so.

XOXO Oma Linda

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

and the sun is where, exactly????

The Land of Enchantment, alias New Mexico does not have many days when the sun does not shine at least for a few hous. As a matter of fact, they are so few and far between, I don't remember the last one.

I love days when the thunder boomer clouds start forming after lunch and then continue to grow into huge water filled wonders later in the afternoon and then give up the moisture right after dinner. That is what we call our monsoon rains. We have those two times a year. Once in July and then again when the State Fair comes a callin' in September. Or at least that's the way I remember it as a child.

In the past few years we have had the drama of the clouds, the rumbly tumbles but very little moisture and thus we have been in a drought. Still fun to sit on the west facing back porch and watch all the lightning and count the time between flash and rumble whether the teasing skies give up the rain or not.

So last night's "most all night long" rain was an oddity and ever so welcome for the plants and lawns. But this morning was a shocker. The clouds are still here, the rain is still falling, be it ever so gentle and there is no sunshine.

My max limit with no sun is 3 days.

I learned that when Sweet Man and I moved to San Francisco in the early 70's. I literally thought I would shrivel up and perish. The damp, the no sun and the ever present "gloom" was oppressive. Of course now I could relish a few days like today but back then I was less than patient or educated in the differences that are regional and geographic.

Makes me ponder how I got grown. I was so rigid and knew almost everything there was to know in my 20's, as do most with that affliction. Funny how when I look at the grands, I hope that they know  more of what I didn't and lots less of what did. More smarts, less smarty. But I know they will have what they have and muddle through their lives as I did mine learning lessons along the way that will mold them into the adults that someday will peak out from behind their child and ponder how, they too, got grown.

Think I'll take some tea out to the porch and watch my "turdley durds" scurry around the yard looking for bugs that have come out because of the rain. Nothing better than a happy turtle with a green smile on their little faces.

Hope you stop today and be thankful for getting grown. Take time to thank the child that saw you through those times. Happiness to all, Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

and still blogger will not let me post

Monday, July 14, 2014

A brush with the truth..........

I am a creative person. I have most all of my life "played" at art in one form or another. I truly began the process of finding my path when I was in college. I found out quickly that painting was not my forte. I sucked at brush strokes. I could not "get" technique. But I have always longed to go back and try again. I just never have taken the time or put in the energy to do so.

But recently, the term "brush" took on a whole new meaning. I had to visit the hospital for an illness that my stubborn old self just couldn't get rid of. I had done all the things I knew to do and my husband just put his foot down and said we were going. Kicking and screaming, internally, I went. I just knew I would face another medico who would say I had a bad cold and could get what I needed in the over the counter department of my local pharmacy and pat me on my head and send me on my way as my primary care physician has done.

But that was not the case. In fact, as soon as they took my vitals and began the interview process I was rushed back to the critical care area and they put me on oxygen immediately. I was in fact very sick. Which, I must say, was almost a relief to hear someone else say. Odd how even when we know the truth it is sometimes the way it is delivered by someone else that makes all the difference in the world.

Then I met the most real person I have met in a very long time. There she was, a doctor who splits her time between Durango Colorado and Albuquerque. This just happened to be her last day in this location. How's that for the luck of the wicked? She asked questions about my life, my body, and then when we were working on the plan to implement medications she turned to me and said, "you know just in the few moments we have been sharing, I know that you are ill because of how you behave". Instead of my usual bristle to "authority", I was warmed by what she said. She continued by saying, that I am a protector, I use my heart and my body to shield those that I love and care about. And that is good and has a proper place but it was obvious that I didn't have enough of that caring and protection left to use on myself and the time had come for me to put me first. Not that I had to deny my "others" but that I must change my way of being in order to be at all.

It was like a lightning bolt that seared my soul. I knew what she was saying and I knew she was correct. I must change.

And that is what I am in the midst of doing.

I never wanted to be viewed as selfish. I never wanted to be viewed as self centered, so instead I went the other direction and gave myself away.....all the time. And it was not without cost or I must admit now, resentment.

Inside I have longed to play at arting. I have longed to do what I choose, not what is expected of me. I have yearned to find me in all of this chaos that is life. And frankly, there isn't a whole heck of a lot of time left to do so. Times a wastin'.

I have always found a reason why I could not do something because of something else that I put on myself as my duty. It will be a hard row to hoe but it must be. And those that accept it will and those that don't will look at me and wonder what happened to me. I hope someday they will understand, but if they don't, my taking time to explain wouldn't have been a good use of time anyway.

I'm off to practice the brush strokes that life has for me now. The truth is in the practice of least that is what I am hoping for and trusting in.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

A Mad Tea Party and our apologies.............

I've already contacted the wonderful hostess of A Fanciful Twist, the lovely Ms. Vanessa Valencia and let her know the The Cuckoos of the Casa will not be participating in this Tea Party, but the weather in her Wonderland is a bit iffy right now and I just wanted to make sure that if any of you came by expecting to find us on a White Rabbit adventure that you didn't think us ill mannered or rude.

We are watching from the sidelines and send out very best Mad Tea wishes along to each of you.
xoxo Oma Linda, the Cuckettes and the critters of the Casa.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Prednisone and other fun stuff.............

I have read so many things about steroids and the whole mess you up thing that is to happen when you take these drugs, but up until my recent introduction, I had very little experience with them. Now that I must use these nasties.......I understand the craziness that they do induce.

I can go from 0 to ten thousand on the anger scale in a nano second. But I have come to realize that the anger isn't really real. It is a side effect of the drug.

The problem is, that others in my life who have experienced my already crazy mood swings don't have the same insight and when I have tried to explain this to them.....well they just chalk it up to yet another crazy component to my new reality. They do so well at understanding.

I've  begun cleaning out the corners of my mind and heart. Nasty spaces some, inhabited by decade old junk and flotsam. Time to through out the baby with the bathwater and move on towards doing what is important and useful rather than raking muck.

I also am using other drugs that have given me "better" insights. Ah, I could even wax poetic and say they have given me keys to the inner workings of my mind. I have, while drifting off to sleep, written many, many essays and stories on subjects that range far and wide. I've jotted the essence of the thoughts down on a notebook next to the bed but by the morning light, the chicken scratching gives me no clue as to my brilliance I stumbled upon in the dark time before.

I've been very weak, and very strong at the same time. It will take me a little while to regain my strength and get back to the beginning again. But in the should be a fun read for you.

I will try, when I can, to come back and check on each of your blogs and give you an update on my state of being.
So there, now you've been warned.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

A magickal happening at Casa de Cuckoo, report 5 July 2014.........

I can only hope that you have had a sparkling good and safe 4th.

I have been away for awhile and will give explanation at a later time, but right now I have to tell you that magick has come and danced in my faery garden yet once again.

Sweet Man was out doing my watering job for me this morning in all three of growing areas. He started with the fae garden and was delighted to see something he had never personally observed but had heard about at length from me.

He saw a Momma turtle laying a clutch of gorgeous pearly white eggs into a very deep hole that she worked on through the night. By the "rockets red glare" our sweet, oldest Momma turtle went into her nesting trance and labored through the night to dig the safe hole for her eggs. By the time Sweet Man arrived to view the scene she had finished the opening and was depositing her eggs. By the time I woke up, which was fairly late for me, she had already begun the process of not only covering but tamping the soil back so that it looks as though she had never disturbed the site at all. Turtles are so talented at disguising their existence. I am always amazed at what magicians they are.

Turtle eggs laid at this time of year usually hatch in the ground, over winter and then the little ones come out in the spring. But they may be urged to come out in the fall if the weather is warm for a longer than usual length of time. All eggs in the same clutch are the same sex. If it is hot and dry, then the offspring will be male. If the weather is milder and wetter then more Momma turtles will be hatched. Only 1 out 3 eggs in the wild usually survive. In our backyard, we usually see triples or twins. But we very seldom ever see where the egg hole is. Pssssst, but now we have a clue.

We have a couple of prime locations that we find baby turtles near, but this was a new location and it may be that that is why when I have planted flowers there, they never grow. But now we know and will keep watch over the new nursery.

I know it is not a thrill for many but for the Cuckoos, it was a day of jubilation and hope. Sweet Man brought me a bouquet of lavender and told me to follow him. The grin on his face was priceless. When he told the grands and they took the walk to let them see, they were so excited about the arrival of yet another group of wandering babies covered in shells.

I took no pictures. It seemed an invasion of a beautiful moment that was given to us as a family when looking towards the future with hope is the most important thing in which we can participate.

So now I've shared this magick with you and hope it brought you a smile. xoxo Oma Linda

Monday, June 23, 2014

Back to normal....well as normal as we get.......

Today marks the first time in a month that the Cuckoos were out and about in public. We went and had our nails done. I have my fingers and toes painted white and my thumbs and big toes painted red and blue. GK also did some crazy turquoise and pearlesence thing going on. I thought I would share our getting better with you. Not because it's a big deal but because I need to let you know the all clear has been sounded at the "typhoid and creeping crud house". Whew.

Mr. Ry is on antibiotics and is on the mend. GK has finished her steroids and is still weak but doing better and can actually breathe. The reason I know she's better is cuz she's got some of her snark back. Sweet Man and I are not coughing up a lung when we lay down to sleep at night and that's all a good thing. The only one in our house who wasn't sick is Shelley and I think because she works with the public everyday that she has a stronger immune system and fended off all the germs better than the rest of us.

We celebrated Summer Solstice in our traditional way with a good meal of organic yumminess and a bonfire. We added our herb bundles, enjoyed the wonderful smells and then watched the embers crumble as we watched for the tell tale sparkly lights in the shrubs, trees and in our backyard. We have been doing Fae watch for 15 years now. When Shelley was pregnant with Ms. G we began our watch. And I can't deny that I was the instigator behind our yearly practice. But, I don't have a choice now that the kids are older. They are the ones who feel the need to honor the fae, leave treats of lavender lemonade in thimbles and tiny honey cookies cut with the same thimbles and baked to fae approved wonderfulness.

I realized that for years I have been talking about our faery garden and that most of you thought I was talking about miniature plantings. Nope the north garden of our house is devoted to faery and turtles. We garden there as though it was a meadow. Wild, not tended but for watering and fertilizing. No plan, no weeding (well we do spirit away the grass in the beginning of spring for all the good that does), and sit back and watch the wonderful results that change the appearance of our faery garden every year. We find all manner of magickal things in and around our wild space and are rewarded for our endeavors with healthy baby turtles and beautiful flowers. I had to put this in here because I didn't want to mislead you about my not having a tiny space for the Fae.

I adore the spirit of love, laughter and life we share. The whole of the Cuckoo clan sitting in the dark, breathing wishes and sharing stories of years past and "sightings". I am a fortunate one to be living la vida magicas.

Did you see fairies? Smell rosemary and lavender bundles floating on the breeze? Feel a kiss and see a new freckle in the exact place the very next morning? Receive a gift from nature (tiny pinecone, crystal, flower) from the Fae? Taste the fruit of summer and smile knowing that is only a glimpse of what is to come? I hope so my lovelies. All this and much more to all of you at this beginning of summer.

Sorry, once again I was unable to post photos.....but I know you will imagine beautifully without them.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Thinking about past summer fun...........

Blogger has lost it's mind. I've been trying to post this for 3 days. Sorry no photos, and crazy spaces after paragraphs......enjoy??????

What now seems like a lifetime ago, I used to accompany middle school and high school critters to a fabulous camp down south of where we live. It is located in the Sacramento Mountains and is, well, like heaven on earth. It is so beautiful and peaceful. Yes, I did say peaceful. Even with all the goings on of the aforementioned critters there was still time for the adults to sit on the broad porches of the dormitory style rustic cabins and talk and laugh and get to know each other. We came to that camp from all over the state of NM and some parts of Texas. I will forever be grateful for my "summer camp" experiences as an adult because I was a chicken as a child and would never attend any camp. I sure missed out on a lot of crazy stuff, let me tell you from an adults viewpoint.

I don't know exactly how many of us there were at any one session but the place was crawling with activity and the camp staff managed to provide all of us with great accommodations and great food and for some a life changing experience.

I'm going to share with you the high light of the camping week. For us oldies but goodies it was the dessert on Friday night. For the critters it was the "dance". The teens were a mess as you can well imagine. And I kinda miss the teenage angst and the creativity and how they wrapped me around their grubby little fingers every time. I learned so much and most of it I can't share with you because,'s either gross or on the inappropriate side of life, both of which were always in easy supply at camp. But don't think I didn't have heart felt moments and a ha experiences because I did. Some of my favorite people in life were those kids, who are now grown and have kids of their own (life is lovely like that, pay back and all, tee hee).

But I am more than willing to share the Friday night dessert recipe. Apple Crisp. Not just any apple crisp but the best crisp I have ever tasted and it is so easy. Just think of 2 and you already have the amount on most of the ingredients.

For the crisp:
2 cups of sugar
2 cups of flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
2 eggs, beaten

Combine the dry ingredients and whisk together (or sift if you choose). Then add the 2 beaten eggs. I always use my hands to combine the dry ingredients and the eggs. It's messy and wonderful. Mix until it looks like corn meal. Then set aside.

For the filling:
2 cans apple pie filling and pour into a 9 x 13 pan. Cover with the "corn meal" mixture.

For the topping:
1/2c sugar with 1teaspoon of cinnamon
1 to 1/2 sticks of butter melted

Pour the melted butter over the "corn meal" and then sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar.

Bake 35 to 45 minutes in a 350 degree oven or until the top is golden brown and crunchy. Let rest for 30 minutes before scooping into a bowl. We always top ours with ice cream or whipped cream.

As you can see from the pictures I am a messy baker and I take creative license with this recipe and I use fresh, in season fruit too. This crisp has 1 lb of strawberries sliced and 1 small container of blackberries along with 5 white fleshed peaches sliced. I combine the fruit with 3/4 cup of sugar to which I have added 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste and 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract. I will bake the crisp for 30 minutes and then add almond slivers and return the crisp to the oven for 10 minutes to toast the almonds. I didn't use cinnamon sugar but rather I added  turbinado sugar. I love the crunch and the texture of the sugar and the almonds.

Every time I make this crunch I think of all the fun I had (better late than never) at summer camp.

I hope you will try this crisp with your favorite fruit. Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

Monday, June 16, 2014

We're still here, sorta..............

This has been a most interesting beginning to the summer I have ever had. Two weeks ago when I last posted, I was in the depths of a horrible cold. And I still have it now, including the rib bruising cough and more mucus than I knew could ever exist in my body.

Ry finally came down with the barky cough and sneezes 5 days ago and seems to be handling it fairly well. Since he has had so many colds this last winter his immune system is stronger, I guess.

GK went to the doctor again because she still has the cold aftermath 3 weeks later and now has a sinus infection. Her temp spiked at 103.8. Yikes she was miserable. This has been 5 weeks solid that she has either been ill with the Noro virus or this creepy crud of a cold. We so ready to move on with good health.

Enough of the meme, I have had some extremely wonderful things happen during the siege of sickness. I received a surprise present from my bestie, Maddy Rose. She is such a talented sewer. Everything about her sewing is delicious. I got this wallet. It is perfection. The corduroy has a shimmer to it that does not translate well in a photo. It is so classy. Love it Ms. Maddy. Love you too for your thoughtfulness.

I also received a painting from Linda Braun. She just began watercolor classes and painted this psychedelic turtle and immediately thought of me (hmmmm do my friends know me or what???) I met Linda through another blogger years ago and when she and her husband Denny came through ABQ on a visit with his sister, we met up and had a really special visit. Linda and Denny lived full time in their RV and travelled all over the country, played golf in every state and have such rich, wonderful stories to tell. They have since settle down in The Villages in Florida and I swear, they just never slow down. It is so very wonderful to have friends and have that connectionality through the Internet. Thanks for my tie dye Turtle, Ms. Linda. This old hippy loves him very much.

I have been keeping up with the garden and getting outside before the hot part of the day comes. I'm not real happy with the state of my straw bale experiment garden. I am not used to things not needing watering every day and I think I have over watered. How is that possible in the desert? Well with the straw bales retaining so much moisture, that's how. But even though I am not pleased with the garden, the little critters that roam the garden always bring a smile to my face and give me a chuckle.

That face makes me want to dear is he?

Right after I took this picture Harry decided to piddle all his water on me......good for him and his only defense.

Poor little critter wasn't pleased with me showing his private area...........

As I was watering yesterday in the fairy garden, I spied this little sweetheart under the hummingbird vine. He was just sunning himself in the morning sunshine and didn't even run when I picked him up. He is probably a last fall baby who overwintered in the garden and came out this spring. He is about the size of a 50 cent piece. You can see he has no egg sac to be found on his tummy, that means he is not a spring baby from this year. Baby turtles keep a vestige of the egg sac about 6 weeks after hatching.

The grands named him, Harry Totter, because he has a lightening bolt looking mark on his top shell. I bet there are at least two more of his clutch mates hidden from sight close by where I found him, but we won't go looking for them because disturbing them too much seems to tame them down too much to survive bird and roaming cat attacks. So we'll let them be "wild" until they are older and have some protection wisdom from experience. Mother Nature is harsh sometimes but is the only teacher qualified to take care of them. I am just an interested bystander after many years of trying to "control" what happens to my turtles.

I do however spoil them rotten when it comes to food. And many of them have imprinted because of that. GK is the official turtle wrangler now and there are some young turtles that will come out when she is in the backyard and want to be fed dog food, fruit, veggies or the occasional snail treat. Even Ry has become fond of the turtles and has his favorites and is not afraid of them anymore. He even picked up my oldest turtle and moved him for Papa when they did the lawn last week.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Under the weather does not even touch this.........

It is usually Ry that gives when it comes to bringing colds, flu, stomach bugs or other illnesses home from school. But this time it was Ms. GK who shared with everyone in the house.

2nd week of May, she came home with a terrible stomach thing. You remember the school had to close down to be cleaned? Well we tried to keep her in isolation for her and our sakes, but that didn't work. We cleaned but that didn't work. We have all had at least two bouts of the crud. Poor Ms. GK and her bro can't afford to lose any weight because they are average weight, height etc, but lose weight they did.

Then last Thursday, the last day of school, GK started a barky cough and it progressed to "misery" and a high fever. And as expected, just a few days to incubate and all of the cuckoos have the barky cough and are feeling under the weather, if the weather was a giant hold you down under water pressure headache and chills and then feeling like we're having a heat wave....all within a minute or two. My muscles are so achy and I can't stop coughing. And trust me, I'd love to stop. GK is still achy, draining and barky so I guess we will be at this for sometime.

The only reason I am telling all of you this, is because June the tooth is going to come/go and we will not be showing any "pay it forward's" because....well we're under the weather....big old black storm cloud kinda weather.

The fae will appreciate us getting better before venturing out to build houses, hovels and such. We'll be back when we can stand to sit up long enough to have accomplished something.

Smooches and Squoozes (with a mask on so I don't give you this misery), Oma Linda and the other cuckoos

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

We are playing again this year...Mad Tea that is.

Vanessa Valencia has been throwing a Mad Tea Party for 7 years now.....yes 7. The grands and I have been waiting to sign up and have been gathering "mad" things ever since last year. I hope you will join us on July 12th as we slide down the rabbit hole and find our Mad Tea adventure waiting for us.

If you'd like to join in the fun just follow the link to Ms. Vanessa's dreamy blog, A Fanciful Twist and sign up for the party.

Hope to see you then.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Stayin' put..............

The Cuckoos of the Casa are staying put this weekend. Never been one for a big travel weekend doings.
We will honor those that have passed on doing their duty and also those that we have lost who have made our lives what they are today. 

Sweet Man and I have a date with the garage today. Ick. But hey, the animal charities we donate to will be happy because of our latest purge of crape' from our hoarding ways. It's always an adventure to find what you didn't know you lost but don't remember you have. Or is that just me?

We almost had a need to drive to Pecos today but the need passed. GK went to school yesterday and came home with the science class fish and a crayfish they had gathered up on their field trip week before last. No she won't be going back to middle school but the science teacher asked her if she would keep the fish again this summer as she did last summer. Yippee??????? Shhhhh, not so much on my part but hey.

She and her nerd herd had talked Mr. C into letting them bring the crayfish back with them....I'm sure he thought it would die immediately (which sorta bugs me) but Reggie (that's what the wack a do's named the crayfish) died last night because of being moved again. If he hadn't, the Cuckoos would have returned him to the stream from whence he came. Now we will plant him in the fairy garden and that's that. And we will not be on the road with all the other "gotta get to somewhere to have fun on this long weekend" folks.

We've begun our weekend with a breakfast at IHOP. I swear Ry could eat then entire restaurant's supply of breakfast meats by himself. That boy is an eater when it comes to bacon, sausage and ham. And he's no slacker when it comes to pancakes either.

It's always fun to take the grands out to a restaurant. They are a riot. Both of them know every song that ever comes on the music that is played and always find something to be happy and exuberant about. They really are great kids with super attitudes. Ry has so many questions at this age about life, living and the pursuit of being in the know. So far so good on the non jaded GK. She's having a friend over for a sleep over tonight and Ry is warming up his little brother act. So wish us luck with the sleep thing.

Hope you have a wonderful long weekend. However you celebrate, be safe and we'll see ya soon.

Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

Thursday, May 15, 2014

And school is almost over............

Oh my stars this month is just nutz. I know it is for so many of you as well. May always races past at a break neck speed, especially when you have kids in the house. So much to do, so little time to get it done.

RyLeigh's school has been on super sonic speed with all the events that have been and are to be held. I thought I'd share some of our boys achievements with you since so many of you are his loyal fans. Bless him. You have no idea how he is tickled by your comments and well wishes. It means so much to him.

You remember last year when he won Top Frog award for his third grade class? Well, the school called Shelley the day before the awards ceremony to tell her that she needed to be in attendance for it. Ry was selected by the principal as the Top Frog for the entire school. Shelley said when she got there she sort of hid behind some other adults that were standing in the field so that Ry wouldn't have a clue. And he didn't. She said he was momentarily sad when another student won for his class, but he congratulated and high fived the boy who won anyway. Then when it came to the announcement for Top Frog of the school he was relaxed and just looking to see who won. When they said his name he screamed a big Yeah!!!!!

When he got home I asked him how his day went, knowing what was going to happen. He said, "say, did you know about this when you dropped me off this morning and told me I was going to have the best day ever? I said yep, I sure did. He then gave me a biggest grin and said, "it was all part of my evil plan Oma." What a hoot. He is such a sweet caring kid and he was so very proud of himself.

Yep some evil plan young one. The principal chose Ry because for World Autism Day, Ry asked if he could go around to other classes besides his own and tell students what it was like to have Autism. His teachers went to the principal and so they let him. He did a super job talking about his ticks, his triggers and explained that he has been taken off some of the drugs he was taking that helped him some and has learned to manage his moods on his own. Talk about a winner.

And then he has had field trips, an air band show, he was the third Billy goat gruff in a play, and tonight he is in a concert. Much too much but the family will be there for this event as well. After school is out in a week, he will be home for two weeks and then start his summer program, which he absolutely loves. Busy kid, happy life.

And then there is Ms. GK's hectic schedule.

She took the entrance exam at the charter high school she chose and earned the highest points on the exam that the vice principal who gave her the test, had ever seen. She is in like Flynn needless to say.

She was home ill with a Noro virus week before last. 60% of the students at her school were sick on the same day and the health department closed the school down and ordered a deep cleaning which took two days. And unfortunately she had a relapse yesterday. Lucky for her, she is better today.

They had 3 OSI's (field trips) last week, one to release the trout into a stream up north of Santa Fe, that her class had been growing and then finals this week. She has a band concert tomorrow night, and a vocal recital on Sunday. Graduation from the 8th grade will be on Weds next.

And then GK and I have part of the summer to work on art projects, keep the garden going, canning and short trips to historical sites. The girl loves to see the native culture in our area and we will be immersed in pueblo culture this summer. We even have a very special kiva ceremony that we were invited to up north in July. GK will also be taking a college course again this summer so that should keep her busy.
They should still be this little, but...................they aren't.
And gone are the days when a new "bucket of bubbles" and some new water toys were the highlight of the beginning of summer. Both the grands are looking forward to sleeping late and making pancakes on the grill with home made blueberry syrup. I don't know how we started that for the first day of summer vacation but they both are like the keepers of the traditions at Casa de Cuckoo and whoa be to anyone who forgets the fun stuff.

And now I need to speak to one person who has chosen to be totally ignorant and hateful, once again. You may call yourself the truth fairy and cast aspersions on the love filled life that is shared here at Casa de Cuckoo, but you and I both know that you couldn't speak the truth if your life depended on it and living with the biological sperm donor of my grands does not in any way give you the right to be such a stupid and ugly human. But truth fairy I forgive your ignorance and lack of manners, because it is the right thing to do.

Sorry lovelies, just something I had to do.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Happy, Happiest Birthday GK............

Yep it's Cinco de Mayo and that can only mean one thing. It's beautiful, talented, sweet natured, special human being GK's 14th Birthday.

Can't believe it. The time has raced past and we should still be enjoying the Backyardigans and Winnie the Pooh. But now it's the Nerd Herd Boys and getting ready to go to a super charter High School in the fall.

Have I told you what an amazing human being you are??????????????? Well, you truly are.

A bazillion hugs, Oma

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Just checking in........

Been almost a week and so I thought I would check in with all of you. I'm beginning to question this elusive season called Spring. And you must throw in the fact that I am anxious to see my green friends growing in the straw bales and there you have my situation. I know it is folly to expect that the calendar would indicate the temperatures but hey, I was optimistic.

All the little seedlings were ready to go outside. As a matter of fact they were getting quite leggy as this house has crap sun exposure for starting seeds, but I digress. So we put out the little sweeties a little deeper so they wouldn't sway so much. And what do you know but Old Man Winter reared his global warming head and we had freezing temps for 3 nights and 35 mph sustained winds with gusts of up to 57. So I go out expecting the worst from the weatherman's forecast and what do I spy???????????

poor empty tomato bed

5 out of 5 pumpkins chugging along in the front brass bed. 1 out of 5 zucchini, 0 out of 5 watermelon, 0 out of 5 peppers and 1 lone cantaloupe. Never mind about the tomatoes. Without meaning to, because "do do" occurs, Shelley knocked the tomato tray of seedlings to the floor and hurt their feelings so bad that none came up. I started a new batch but......I feel like Charlie Brown, I'm tomato doomed.

my brave little zucchini

So I spent some time this morning looking online and calling around to see if we had any nurseries here that were selling organic tomato plants. Yep, not the Peppermint and Gypsy varieties I had in mind but, I'll take what I can get. Right?

If I were to look at this in a hopeful way, I could say that we might be rolling in pumpkins which might be a fabulous thing. We generally spend a small fortune on pumpkins come October, so that in and of itself could be a win/win.

5 little pumpkins sitting in the bed..........(yep there is a rhyme like that)
Speaking of pumpkins when we were planting said pumpkin plants on Easter day, the less than 2 year old grand son of a neighbor and the neighbor were walking by. There is just something about GK that little kids are attracted to and this little fella was no exception to the rule. He broke from his Grandpa and came up to see the sweet smiling, long legged teen. He babbled something to her and she said sure, come look at the garden bed. They had this long discussion, in an unknown tongue to this Olde Broad's ears, and when his Grandpa beckoned him to continue on the walk, GK told he and his Grandpa to come back in October and he could have one of the pumpkins. The little cutie pie clapped his hands and walked down the street just beaming and yakking away.

See there, the brass bed pumpkin patch has already done it's job.........a happy little human critter. And GK was pretty excited too. Sometimes I have to watch myself around her. I could easily get lost in my admiration of what a beauty and charmer she is. Now don't get me wrong she is only a teenager, ick, but she is also so kind, warm, open and giving.

I think the 4 year difference in their ages, made GK a mini Mom to Ry and that has had a huge influence on her feeling about little ones. She is one of those females who giggles when she sees a baby and just goes bonkers for toddlers. I know I have told you about her love of working with Downs Syndrome children at the Albuquerque Therapeutic Recreation Program and that was as a camper when she went with Ry. She only has to wait until next summer to actually get paid and join the staff of the summer program. This year Ry will go alone (he's ready) and GK will take some online classes and babysit me.

We have lots of "let's find a barn and put on a show" fantasy photo shoots to do (lots of dress up), she has vowed to help with the garden and I'm pretty sure she and her Nerd Herd will want to hang out at the pool or mall or maybe if I'm really lucky, they might choose here, doing what 9th grade kids do......make most adults cringe.

So I've skipped from my irk about it being too windy to plant anymore and too cold to expect any little plants to survive so I will settle into sewing some fitted diapers for a certain Acorn baby who will come to grace the world in the late summer.

And while I'm at it I'll be glad the buds on my white peach tree survived and look at the tiny little fuzzy bundles of "to be" yumminess.

What are you planning for Spring and Summer? I'd love to hear all about it.

Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

Thursday, April 24, 2014

When the smell was new............

Before I started school, there were 4 of us girls within the neighborhood who would get together to play so that 3 of the 4 Mom's could have some time without kids. It was a traveling play date held once a week. There was myself, Renee', Vivian and Andrea. Our Mom's were a group of friends who were navigating the 50's as best as they could. And that's a whole other story.

The sweet yellow straw at with pristine white daisies with yellow centers all around the brim seemed to defy gravity on the head of my playmate Andrea. This privileged and spoiled young child always had the newest fashions from Fedway Department Store and  she always wore the highest pony tail that was still considered a pony tail and not a bun. Andrea with her beautiful long legs and slim waist always looked like the Betsy McCall doll that she taunted the rest of us girls from the neighborhood with, when we were dropped off at her house for a day of dress up, playing dolls and watching Andrea show off her latest and best.

When I pointed out that Barbie had the pony tail and that her precious Betsy McCall had a bob, she slowly removed her straw hat, undid her pony tail and jumped at me with hate in her eyes. I squealed and turned to run but forgot I was up against the dark pink, light pink striped wall of her bedroom and totally knocked myself out as I collided with said pink blockade.

When I woke up Mrs. Hernandez was applying a cold wash cloth to my forehead and scolding Andrea. Mrs. H told me that Nomie, their maid had already called my Mom and that she would be there soon to pick me up and she added that she was so sorry that Andrea had been naughty.

Not as sorry as I was, I thought to myself. I looked in the direction of the glare she had just delivered and Andrea had tears in her eyes but when her Mom looked back at me, Andrea stuck her tongue out at me and then smiled. This girl had brat down to a T.

I decided right then that my Mom's pick of friends for me was not all it was cracked up to be. She might want to be part of Mrs. H's friends but Andrea and I were through. This wasn't the first time my mouth had gotten me in trouble with Andrea and I was sure that it would not be the last. And Andrea had a thing for making me pay with physical attacks. It wasn't that I couldn't fight, I just hated it. My brother had given me a few lessons in punching so that I didn't have to be afraid, but I still didn't like the feeling of hurting someone else. I was beginning to think I might have to change my way of thinking.

By the time my Mom came to pick me up, Mrs. H had packed me a "care package" of the treats and sweets that we were going to have and a wondrous hat box with small pink roses printed paper on it. The handle was a silky rope of a light spring green that matched the foliage of the delicate rosebuds. It was going to be mine, not the mean eyed Andrea's. I can't tell you the feeling of victory I felt in my 5 year old gut. But as we left, I waved at the Hernandez's and felt like I was the winner of some special prize.

When we got home, my Mom said I had to stay awake, be close to where she was so she could keep an eye on me and that I could bring something into the kitchen table to play with while she finished the laundry. I took the hat box and my Muffie doll with some clothes. Took my place at the table. I opened up the hatbox and inside was Andrea's new hat. Or rather my new hat. I was shocked. I guess Mrs. H was trying to make up for her daughter's bad behavior with a bribe, which I gladly accepted. I pulled the lovely daisied hat up to my nose and smelled the newness of it. It was a combination of straw, fabric and nanny, nanny, boo boo that I smelled back then when the smell was new.

That hat is a million years old now, but every time I lay eyes on it's beauty, I pull it to my nose and I expect to smell victory. It has lost it's new scent but that is how I came to be addicted to hat boxes. Who knows what you might find inside a round "wonder box" that could change your outlook on spoiled rotten children or just life, for that matter.

The names in this story were not changed to protect anyone. I don't expect that Ms. Andrea ever gave me or that hat incident a second thought. Her reign of terror came to a close soon after when we started school at St. Vincent's Girls Academy....but that's another story as well.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Kavetching.........with Oma

Sunday noonish, right after the great confetti incident in the backyard, we were lounging about in PJ's thinking of what nonsense we wanted to perpetrate on the world. GK stopped by the kitty tree to love on Uma, the black cat who now has armpits that look like Chewbacca the Wookie was her Dad. When Uma turned her head towards GK copious amounts of drool spread down to the floor. GK's first instinct was to smell her breath......because of Cybella and her renal failure last year. No smell and she was perky and alert......albeit very, very wet.

We kept a close watch on her and by 2 it was evident that something was amiss. She was almost floating in her drool. We packed up and headed for the Emergency Clinic, cuz that's where everyone wants to be on a holiday, don't ya know.

OUR BLACK CAT......uh maybe not
I had a suspicion that Ms. Uma had followed through with her inventory check of all the houseplants in my cubby hole. I had to shoo her out and off several times on Saturday night when I was turning off my computer. I've had the same houseplants, except for the new one SM gave me for my BD for at least 10 years. And with that said, I must also say that I have seen all my cats graze on the snake plant stubs (where you cut the plant when it gets leggy and shove that part back in the dirt and the other part just hardens and becomes sticks). The cats have sorta cleaned their teeth on it. But the ones up high are there because I have never been sure if they would be harmful. Actually, I really never even gave it a thought until we were getting ready to go to the vet. I took parts of the plants and was prepared.

I know that all lilies are lethal to cats. I haven't had lillies, even the flowers in bouquets in my house in 30 years for that very reason. I know that diffenbachia (dumb cane) is lethal. But I had no idea about the night blooming cereus, pregnant onion or snake plant. But we sure found out about them from the AAHA poison hot line. Each of these plants can cause gastric distress, severe drooling and the pregnant onion can cause heart arrhythmia.

The clinic put Uma on IV, kept her overnight and bright and early this morning called and let us know she was fine and we could come and get her. I was so panicked because I felt so responsible for her dilemma and GK was very upset. Understandably but still it was kinda misplaced anger and hard to deal with. As Shelley tried desperately to calm both of us (poor thing), she explained, "shit happens". Which at that moment, neither of us could claim as the truth. Moving right along.............

I know you have all had experiences with health workers, animal health workers and others in a stress situation. I know we all have horror stories and hero stories to tell. I just thought I'd share a major gripe I have about life when it comes to crisis moments.

I took my hearing ear human (Shelley) with me so that someone could hear the words being spoken.
I am pleasant and understanding when in crisis mostly because I have been trained by life to throw up or cry later.
I try to take people as they come even if they are rude but 
I don't do well with people who are confrontational when it really isn't needed or called for in a situation.

We entered the vet's office. The admission person asked for the information. When given, she immediately said, "oh that's a lily and that's really terrible". Thank you for that.

We had to call the poison control ourselves (because we were told it would be cheaper if we did) and were on the phone for 45 minutes.

Gave the clinic the case number and information that we were told. Saw the vet and the first thing she tells us is she was given different information. In a tone that indicated that we were booger eating morons. Then this female with no people skills tells us that they would treat Uma for all of the plants because she didn't know which one Uma ingested. I told her neither did we, that's why I brought them in. She said I only brought in one and didn't know what I was talking about..............never mind the blah, blah, blah. She was frickin rude and disrespectful and dismissive.

Poor GK, she was mad. I was more understanding of lack of "bed side manner" but offended and still put off. GK didn't want to leave Uma with "that vet". Oh hell, what a nightmare. Shelley and I explained to her that we knew the woman would be a better vet than people person......but I felt like I was shining her on with the story of the Easter Bunny, ya know?

Shelley, ever the optimists consoled both of us and we waited for an evening call from the clinic. Dr. I have no tact, called and I couldn't get to my phone quickly enough. She left a message but I called back because I had a question. When I got her on the line it was the same dismissive tone of voice like my status as a booger eating moron had not improved any. She also informed me that she had already left a message. That sentence should have a big ass period at the end.....cuz that's how she said it. Boom.

So I listened to the message. You know what I discovered? This woman left a rather soft spoken almost cordial recount of Uma's progress and what she had done to ease Uma's symptoms. I think it was easier for her to talk to the phone than to a person. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm....who do I know that is like that?

And until we went to pick up Uma and I got home and was able to process all of what happened and how I felt so much relief.....I didn't realize that I'm sure that what Shelley and I told GK about this vet was true. And my best mother of the grands and of me sometimes knew immediately. Because I live with a "letter of the law", don't always have the words to explain the situation, don't make eye contact with someone and have a hard time communicating, sometimes use the wrong facial expressions for the situation, good hearted, on the spectrum RyLeigh.

I now have a sense that I should have been more aware of what was happening in our interaction with this vet and more understanding. As I look back at her behavior......I know she is a specially gifted human on the spectrum as well. And I'm grateful that she helped our Uma and a little ashamed of myself for not being in the moment and recognizing the signs.

But hell, I'm so invested in my animals, my grands and want only good things for those I love. . . I sometimes need a kick in the arse by the universe. Humility is a dish served in small doses. It always a good thing to pull your head out.......this being accompanied by a giant sucking sound.

Happy Monday..........and now I'm goin' to squooze the wookie cat, who just cost us a fortune (sigh).

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Cascarones................confetti ole'

From Casa de Cuckoo to all of our friends.............Happy Easter.

All the way from our hares/hairs to our toes and waggy tails.

Friday, April 18, 2014

A little gardening, a little showing off, with a side order of fun.............

The straw bales are ready for the baby plants and then "let the gardening begin". Unfortunately, I still have some restraint left in me and I won't put out the little ones until the end of the month. Sneaky freeze might come in and take them from me. We already had an accident with one of the trays of baby veggies. Yep, it got knocked to the floor. Don't you hate it when life just happens?????? No real harm, just lost the tomatoes and peppers the rest of the little ones held on tight and endured the ride.

And to the showing off..........
I always love to show you what love has brought me, literally. The day before my BD, Sweet Man in an effort not to be late brought home this bromeliad for me. I used to have a lot of these at our old house and he thought I might like to have a companion plant in the craft cubby since the plants in there now always go out to the front patio in the spring. He was right, Emma, that's her given name will make a fine partner for crafting with her inspiring bright flame coloring. Thanks Honey, she's a beauty.

Then on my BD, in the mail, I recieved Apriliano. Isn't he the cutest? Don't you want to get to know him better? Are you thinking what I'm thinking? I bet he would love to get to know Ms. Baggs. That can be arranged. And for those who don't know Ms. Baggs........well you have a treat in store for you.

Apriliano was safely tucked away inside of his own mushroom inside one of my favorite things in the world wide of the world. A hat box. I have had a thing for hat boxes ever since I got my first one as a small girl (another post). There is no way my sweet friend April could even have known that I am obsessed with hat boxes and yet there it was holding the sweetest hand crafted needle felted gnome in the world. He wasn't by himself in the box, there also was a pillow insert. Hmmmm thinks I?????. After reading the card, I was told to watch for something from Etsy.

Sure enough a few days later, this is the something. Red and white, wonderfulness with a Cuckoo clock (so fitting) and a gnome. It is just the right size to fit my lower back when I sit in the living room. April, Gnoma Linda says thank you.

And the grands and Shelley surprised me with Oz presents. A darling music box that plays "Somewhere, over the rainbow" where I can stash precious things and two of the four sweet mini Ozlings that Hallmark has out right now. The other two are to follow as my Mother's day giftie. Every year they make my BD so very special just by being in my life and close at hand. Thanks Shelley and GK and RY.

And then there was an uber surprise. Jan from Laughing Dog Art joined in the Celebrate Oz festivities this year for the first time and I was thrilled. I admire her work, love her take on life and think she is terrific. Well to my greatest joy, she sent me the work she had done for Oz..........I am the very proud and happy recipient of "The Horse of Many Colors", hand stitched artwork. I love this so much. It of course will be on the Oz wall by end of May. Thanks Jan.

And as a bright spot in my week this week another Ozian blessing came to me from the always thoughtful, precious and eternally happy inducing Ms. Stacy from MagicCrowLove. My very own Dorothy crow and Toto. I love this ACEO. Ms. Dorothy Crow will also become a part of the Oz wall. Thank you Ms. Stacy and Mama Crow too.

Thanks for all the lovely birthday wishes I received as well. You are all very kind and I appreciate it very much.

I know these look like mismatched woolie worms huh? But they are Y branches from the bushes we trimmed wrapped with misc. fuzzy yarns. The bells and mirrors had not been added at this point, but you will get to see them again in the garden photos.
And as for the fun (like all of the above wasn't fun enough), the grands have been a joy this Spring Break. We have worked in the yard, played in the yard, made guardians for the garden, painted some birdhouses for pay it forward artwork, baked some interesting bread and just hung out and enjoyed being lazy. We have spent hours talking and reminiscing about "when they were babies", which is always fun. Electronics were verboten until Shelley got home most days and I, as always, am a little sad to see the time has passed so quickly. Ry has learned some new things to do around the house, GK has been so funny and engaging, I have been chill and we have all been enriched by our time together.

See????? I was worrying for nothing when I complained about them making me crazy. They did....but in the best way possible. Crazy happy.

Speaking of Happy............I hope you each have the very best Easter weekend. We are going to bless each other with cascarones (blown out eggs filled with confetti) and bite the ears off of an unsuspecting chocolate rabbit.

Smooches and Squoozes from all the members of Casa de Cuckoo, but especially me.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Hold on Dorothy.....California just blew through............

This was going to be the last clean up day in the yard. The day when I could say, hmmmmmmm, I'm ready for spring to officially be here. I should learn to "Shut my mouth".

The typical, make you miserable,  spring wind has arrived. I forget how much I hate wind and the after effects of said disturbance until I have to spend a day inside, with my lungs and head aching and watch the dust just flow on by.

I love a breeze, I even like an occasional wind to clean out the pollution but sustained 40 mph with wind gusts of 65 mph, it's not even on my list of things I want to live with. Oh well, no one asked me anyway.
found these nutter butter cookies, hershey's kisses and butterscotch chips

So instead I finished a baby blanket for a certain Acorn. And I spent some time on the phone and online with a computer tech to help with some complications on my computer. And while on the phone on speaker, I cleaned out some additional craft crap boxes and there are three people out there who will be very surprised with what I found for them after I go to the post office (if it's still there) tomorrow.

I am not kidding about the wind. I just saw the back door neighbors garden shed blow from south of them to the house just north of them. Just like that. The people who own that property will be very surprised that they no longer have a shed. Now that was scary. I know they just had an estate sale and the shed was emptied out, so I suppose that's why it took flight. Oh and there goes the swamp cooler cover off their house. Yikes.

I sure am glad that Shelley and I didn't put out the yard guardians we made yesterday after we finished the yard work. They would be enjoying them in Bernalillo or Santa Fe by now. I'll put some photos of the guardians  when we get them in the garden......or not, depending on the weather. I saw on the weather channel that this wind will be in affect here and move west this week. There is also a possibility of snow showers tomorrow.

Have a peace filled rest of Sunday. I'll post sometime this week and let you know how we fared in the spring winds. And also to introduce you to Apriliano....he's my main crush now.

Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

Friday, April 11, 2014

Wow, this is a lotta stuff.............

I hadn't picked anything specific out before my giveaway because I wanted to get some info on the person that won to sorta tailor the items to favorite colors? sewing? crafting? needlework? papercrafts? etc. So when I got the information from the lovely Vickie, I started going through my hoard of one of everything Moses ever let come across the desert.

Sheesh.............I coulda filled three large flat rate boxes with the stuff I found to giveaway.

There's blingy, sparklies, pink/purple/turquoise, rubber stamps, wood (makes me giggle like an eighth grade girl), fiber, charms, paper (of all denominations), buttons, ephemera, recycle, ribbon, stuff and lots of good junk including a wand and some other pagan paraphernalia.

So I've saved out another box full of wonderfulness and I'm thinking that maybe I'll do this again next month around Mother's Day. So keep a weather eye on the horizon ye lubbers. There's craft crap in them there sails. Or something like that.

I finished doing all of this seek and find just in time to be able to focus on the fact that I have tiny wee plantlings coming up in my seed trays. The heirloom varieties that I am growing are gonna be fun to watch as well as eat. I just ran out of ump pa pa in the photo taking department or you could see that I actually have veggies poking their leaves out of the seeds.

Tomorrow is work in the yard day again. And I anticipate that we will be all caught up at the end of the weekend....fingers crossed. The straw bales are beginning to sag a little and take on water and actually stay moist. Another dressing of compost and topsoil and I think that we are all set. Just waiting on the little plantlings.

I know I could go to the garden supply place and get plants (and I'm not usually on any particular band wagons of protest of late) but I'm not purchasing any seeds that have been genetically altered. If that means I fight off rot or mold or bugs, then so be it. I will do that gladly if I don't have to be worried that the food I put on the table contains plant DNA that can be harmful to my grands. I can't do anything about what we have ingested thus far........but from here on out as long as I am able to do what I can to keep us safe, I will.

Wow, that was freeing. Reminds me of the good old hippy days of protest, flower power and communes. And I fought off rot and worst, back then. Wow those times were a million years ago....right after the dinosaurs took their big time out.

Peace and love my lovelies............ Oma Linda (funny, I now have a yearning for tie dye and seed bead necklaces)

Just had another crazy thought. Do you know what the Olde English word for "to plant a seed" is? Cuz if you do, then that's what I've been up to. . . . planting.  tee hee  Who knew you could do that to vegetables and flowers.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

And the winner is.........

Me.....because I get to give a lovely bunch of crafting "thingies" to someone very special. I am thrilled that I had such a great response to this giveaway, including but not limited to folks who advertised it and they didn't even want to win all the goodies......that makes them goodies, don't ya know.

I'll post a photo of what I will be including in the large postal box (you know the one you can stuff with as much as you want so long as it fits in the box.  And goes for the one fixed price) on tomorrow's blog. I'm going to enjoy the picking and stuffing today as I take the day to drink my favorite beverage and just chillax. That's what birthdays are for I'm told. I know by the end of the "shopping" through my stash that I will have my next great adventure planned as well.

this beautiful card is on The Graphics Fairy

And the winner of my 900th post is.......................Vickie Lesperance.

Congratulations and happy crafting to all that do.

I hope your day is as lovely as mine will be.

Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

Monday, April 7, 2014

We went for a Sunday drive....but it was just the Olde Folks....

Sometimes too much of a good thing is more than too much. Do you every feel that way? Too much rich food makes a body sluggish. Too much wine makes a body stumble. Too much kid stuff just before spring break makes an Olde Broad batty. Yep, we went on a self defense ride.

Sweet Man and I got in his "vehicle de jour" and took a Sunday afternoon ride. I used to think it was a myth about Sunday drives and Olde Folks but it's true. We have our own reasons for doing so, and have been taking to the road for a couple of hours get away for years. We do our best talking in the car and we also are able to wash away whatever it is that is bugging us on the journey.

This trip we skirted Albuquerque on all sides and ended up in my favorite part of Albuquerque for a snow cone and some animal viewing. Made my weekend. Now to face the music as they say.

I love my grands more than life itself. And I would do just about anything in the world for them, and have. But there is something mysterious that happens to normal kids when spring break is upon them. When I worked with kids back in the Dark Ages, it was always hard to find something that would keep their attention at this time of year. Any teacher will be able to quote chapter and verse on this spring time ocurrance. I won't say they behave badly, because they don't but "ants in their pants" would be a sizeable downgrade on the Richter scale from where they get up to.

I'm hoping I can keep them busy. Now that sounds like a stupid statement but.............consider this: I despise them being on "electronics" 24/7. There's much more to challenge yourself with than pokemon and angry birds and minecraft. I know I sound like I'm getting old. Like when my parents wanted me to turn down the music. Or rather what I thought was music and they thought was noise. But if you have ever been around kids with DS's, or other equipment that repeats the same sound a bazillion times, it can irritate your nerves. Or as I like to say, "it's jumping on my flat nerve". And yes they can adjust the volume but that's really not the point. The point is that I want them to breath some fresh air, enjoy what there is around them and they want to sit in one spot and be on something electronic.

I've complained so much to them that they make fun of the the word electronics now like it's some old fart word. Sheeeeeeesh. And the word has more than 5 syllables when said in a mocking tone.

Yes we have the yard work but like Maynard G. Krebbs of Dobey Gillis fame, work is a four letter word and these two are totally allergic to work. We'll see just how much forced fun I can dole out.

for you darlings who are too young to remember this.....this is from the TV show Doby Gillis
Anyway, Ry is home for two weeks beginning today, his sister will be home next week. I will be in the looney bin the following week. Light orange candles for perseverance for me ya'll.

Smooches and Squoozes Oma Linda..........the Omalator

Friday, April 4, 2014

Bales and bales and still no veggies.....yet......

As you may or mayn't (I just love using that word) know that the Cuckoos of the Casa are using a different kind of gardening style this year. We are planting our vegetables and some flowers in straw bales. The are above ground making it easy for me to tend because since my knee replacement surgery, I haven't been able to get down and dirty, or get on my knees to weed either.

I saw this gardening technique on many different variations and went to a class on straw bale gardening here at one of our gardening clubs. I was hooked. But last year, there just didn't seem to be the time or opportunity so we planned for this spring. Actually Shelley and I planned it and Sweet Man hoped against hope that we would forget our plan. But alas, he lost. But he didn't have to lift any bales or put them where they were going so, he hasn't said much.

the ladder was to get the bales into the back yard
Shelley and her handy sidekick Ms. GK (who as you can see is taller than she) went after school to one of our favorite haunts in the north valley of Albuquerque. Dan's Boots and Saddles. There are many things to see there. Clothes, boots, tack, tools, farm equipment, all manner of pet needs and of course Cowboys. I didn't think that's what the girls were shopping for when they went to get the straw bales, but then what do I know. 

and yes, Ms. Shelley cleaned up the inside of the vehicle after this fun was had
There's something about a guy in slim cut jeans, boots, cowboy hat and a wide buckle that stirs something in a girls heart....or elsewhere. Anyway, GK the nerd girl went to help Mom unload when the shopping was done and was oblivious to the extras that the trip afforded looking at the baby chicks, finding a feed dispenser she wanted to buy and make a lamp (where in the hell did she get that crazy idea) until they were at the checkout counter where Shelley asked if they could get some help loading the bales. 

According to Shelley, there were several volunteers from the guys who had been checking out the nerd chick as she perused the clothes etc. and the ones who worked there as well. Needless to say when they went out to the SUV and GK saw all the help coming out towards them she said "well hello cowboys". Shelley said she almost split a gut with laughter. Of course nothing of import happened because when the tallest drink of water cowboy (who was all of about 21), asked Shelley how old her "little sister" was, gotta love a smooth talker, and found out she was  uh....13, the truck got loaded quickly and my girls enjoyed the eye candy and came home. And guess who was more than willing to go back the next day to get more bales? Both of them. 

we were just test flying how it would look and so were nosey and nosey Jr. (Jameson and Ellie Mae)
This will be the tomato, jalepeno and onion bed.....salsa, hot, hot
We're making the bed.....hahaha this weekend. I was going to paint the bed a different color but I think I like the chippy green, looks more garden bed like somehow. I also found a brass twin size head and foot board by the side of the road on garbage day.....nope couldn't let it die in the landfill soooooooo it will now reside in the front yard being a straw bale bed as well. I know it is proof positive that I have lost it. But now at least I'm shouting it to the whole world, if not the neighbors.

this is where we will plant muskmelon, beans, flowers and strawberries.
raspberries, blackberries to the right of the bales.
I have now treated the bales with nitrogen, watered them everyday and will dress them with topsoil and compost. I will continue to water in the soil everyday and by the end of week 2 we will be ready to plant. I started my seeds about a week ago inside. The decomp of the bales will make it warm enough in and near the bales to keep the little plantings safe during the chance of frost we have until end of April. And then I'm hoping for lots of opportunity to can and teach GK and Ry how really fun growing your own food can be. I ordered seed from some organic, heirloom seed companies and went to a garden club here and bought some heirlooms that grow well here. I'm hoping for yellow, purple, maroon and green tomatoes, black jalapenos, round zucchini, green bumpy pumpkins, white tiny pumpkins, pinto beans, black skinned watermelon, musk melons, yellow and white strawberries as well as red. We also are planting raspberries, blackberries and marionberries. Kinda iffy about them doing well but gonna try. We will be growing tomatoes and pumpkins in the front bed and cucumbers on trellises by the front entry gates. We're going all in people.

If this works as well as we are hoping, then next year we will plant corn on around the corner on the south side of the house next year. Can you tell I'm enthusiastic about this endeavor?

zuchinni, beans, husk tomatoes, flowers in this horseshoe.
the reason for the shape is for the easy of tending the bed and sun exposure
persian lilac, false quince, sunflower windmill and pomegranite.
and why yes we still have lots of pruning to do as well as fertilizing the grass
We had frost this morning so I'm hoping my white peach blossoms didn't freeze and I get at least a taste this year of the fruit. And last but not least is the ornamental plum tree we planted. I know, it says ornamental but I'm telling you they make the best sweet and sour plum jam in the world. Have been canning jam from them for more than 30 years. We usually go out the weekend closest to 4th of July and go to harvest at the business park not far from the Casa where they have about 20 trees. But I wanted to pass on the tradition by planting our own "fake plum" as Sweet Man calls it. The jam is Oma Linda's Plum Crazy and we treasure every last bite. 

So that's what's been happening here. Put on a coat and go out and get the garden ready.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Don't forget to enter my giveaway for the craft supplies. Just click on the link button on the side of my blog.

Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda